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Govt taking IMF loan as precautionary measure

Staff Correspondent: Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr Ahmad Kaikaus has said that the government is thinking over taking loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as precautionary measures to tackle the global crisis in advance.
“…The world is heading towards an economic recession and facing inflation of currency. As a result, supply-chain (the network of all the individuals, organizations, resources, activities and technology involved in the creation and sale of a product) is being disrupted. In this context, the government is mulling over taking IMF loans as precautionary measures to tackle global crisis in advance,” he said.
The principal secretary said this while briefing reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Wednesday.
The government should do something positive considering the global crisis happening in the world rather than doing nothing, he said.
Referring to bail-out, he said the government did not seek bailout rather it is thinking to take pragmatic steps in advance to address the upcoming or uncertain situation of the country due to the adverse impacts of the continuation of the Russia-Ukraine war.
“ However, the concerned authority such as the Ministry of Finance and the Economic Relations Division are holding discussions with World Bank, ADB and JICA for taking precautionary measures if war continues or the supply chain is disrupted,” he continued.
For that matter, the initial proposal has just been made and further discussion will be held in coming days, he said, adding that nothing has been finalized yet to this end.
Replying to the query whether Bangladesh is taking loan like Sri Lanka and Pakistan, he said the country’s statistics indicate that Bangladesh does not need loan as it has sufficient foreign reserve with the help of which the people of the country can live about 5.5 months.
Lauding the Prime Minister-led government’s endeavors for the development of the country, he said Bangladesh is now standing at a unique height as it is a fastest growing country.
In continuation of that, the premier of the country has made the long cherished ‘Padma Multipurpose Bridge’ ignoring all conspiracies hatched against her so that she could not make it, he said.
Reiterating that Bangladesh will never be like Sri Lanka, he mentioned that the government is not hiding anything regarding the country’s foreign currency and everything is visible to everyone.
Mentioning that Britain has also faced crisis situation, but Britain did not say that the country will ruin amid such situation, the said.
About the reduction of inflation in July last alongside the rise of the export at the same time, he said all is possible due to the timely steps taken by the incumbent government of the country.
Talking about another contemporary issue like load-shedding occurring in the country in phases, he said it seems that because of load shedding, the whole country has been submerged into darkness.
“…That (mindset of the people regarding the load-shedding) is too much. The matter of load shedding has been pre-announced and it is continuing so that the production is not hampered. We are tackling the situation through rationing,” he added.
He said that through this rationing process, the government is able to produce less electricity in this hot weather utilizing less fuel or oil.
The utilization of less fuel in power generation brings greater savings for the country, he said.
Replying to a question from journalists that when will the load shedding situation be normal, he said it is dependent on global market and besides, the oil market is currently volatile.
The fuel market is now facing the upward trend, he said, adding that the situation of fuel and gas in the international market is also the same.
However, the government is working relentlessly to balance the differentiation of the currency-valuation of the international market for which the country needs foreign currency, he added.
About fuel import from Russia, he said necessary discussion is being held to this end and if the fuel is available, then it will be imported.
Referring to the gas exploration in the country, he said that Bangladesh is fortunate enough as gas has been explored frequently at many places of the country.
But, the gas exploration is very uncertain, he said, adding that for gas exploration, drilling is required and it is costly and time consuming.
In this case, he suggested importing gas by avoiding uncertain drilling saying it is comparative advantage.
He also mentioned that the country is maintaining a lower debt to the gross domestic product (GDP) ratio which means it (the country) will not face any difficulties to pay off its debt in future.
About the country’s export situation, he said that as per the direction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the government is paying heed to export-diversification for increasing the country’s export-earning.
The premier especially advised the concerned authority to pay attention to agro-processing for export-diversification, Kaikaus added.

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